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Concert report, Stapleford 5th december 2009

(December 06, 2009)
I was invited to play 3 solo sets for this event which was basically a Carol concert featuring local ladies choir 'The Carausels' at Stapleford methodist church, Eatons road, Stapleford.
My first set included two items from Riverdance; 'Home and the heartland' and 'Countess Cathleen' both played on flute. A bit of Gershwin never goes amiss, so I had added in 'Fascinating rhythm' to concede this set.
The choir obviously enjoy working together, and the skillful piano accompanist, and director also deserve a special mention. There were some particularly beautiful arrangements sung, with harmonies well thought out and effective.
My second set consisted entirely of my 'Songs for Claire' suite. Obviously this is always an especially personal piece for me to play and as a result contains some very powerful emotions in the music. I was very pleased at how it came across last night and it hopefully did Claire proud.
I must mention my very efficient sound engineer at this point (daughter Lauren) who did a fine job setting up speaker stands, plugging in, marking up her programme, and for her lovely Countess Cathleen dance around the church as we warmed up pre-concert! How lovely to see the world through the eyes of children! When we arrived home just before 11pm she was fast asleep within 5 minutes though!
My final set aimed to reveal the different abilities of the saxophone; the 'classical' element consisted of a Nativity carol, expertly arranged in gymnopedie style by Alistair Parnell (Saxophonist / Pianist / teacher / performer in Nottingham) which i performed on alto sax. The next genre was jazz and I felt 'The grey cat' was particularly fitting with growls, bends, and other typical jazz inflections, plus it is immense fun to both play and listen to! Finally, the more commercial style of saxophone; Kenny G's 'we three kings' again arranged by Alistair. I performed this on soprano sax and had added in an improvised last section to end my final set on a high. I did almost mistakenly introduce this one as an ALI G number (rather than Kenny G!) but was kindly reminded that it was Kenny (not Ali!), by a friend in the audience in the interval...phew! Thanks Pat!
The audience, choir, and all involved were all wonderful and helped to make it a fantastic evening. It was also a real pleasure chatting to members of the audience and choir and answering questions about saxophones and projects i'm currently involved with. So many wonderful comments were given too which is obviously lovely, but very humbling and even a little embarrassing when all we are doing is purely something that we adore.

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